According to statistics, about 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and another 178 million people are missing at least one tooth. Thanks to advances in dental medicine, though, lost teeth are no longer lost causes.
Today, one of the most popular methods of restoring missing chompers is dental implantation. In this procedure, a titanium post is surgically implanted into a patient’s jaw and allowed to integrate with the natural jawbone. Once full assimilation is achieved, the post will serve as the “root” onto which an artificial tooth will be attached.
Dental implantation is remarkably effective, too, boasting a success rate of up to 98%. What’s more, implants can also last a lifetime—provided they are cared for properly. Dr. Ali Fakhimi, a San Diego implant dentistry practitioner and operator of the Soft Touch Dental office, provides the following aftercare tips:
Watch What You Eat
Eventually, once the crown is installed, you can use your implant to chew food just as you would with your normal teeth. During the integration period, though, when only the post is in place, try to avoid hard or sticky food that might cause it to come loose. To be safe, stick to soft, nutritious food during the next two to four weeks.
Standard Dental Care
Dental crowns are made of synthetic materials like porcelain, and as such will not develop cavities like real teeth. However, problems like gum inflammation, infections, and even bone loss may occur if you don’t brush and floss your implanted teeth properly. In other words, give them the same TLC you lavish on your natural pearly whites.
If you plan to get dental implants in San Diego, be sure to have them regularly checked by a dentist to ensure optimal performance and longevity. As the Academy of Osseointegration reminds patients:
Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure the surrounding gums and bone are maintained and healthy. This also requires periodic x-rays to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. The dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.
It is not uncommon for the screws that attach your restoration to the actual implants or abutments to loosen from time to time. This usually entails simply removing the dental restoration, cleaning it and replacing it with new or re-tightened screws. Similarly, if your dental restoration is cemented to the underlying implant, they may also loosen periodically. If this happens, your dentist will need to remove the restoration, clean it, ensure that it is fitting as designed and re-cement it to the implant.
(Source: Healing and Treatment Care, Academy of Osseointegration)